Great Canadian Dollar Store coming to Bradford

By Bradford Times Staff

Ashtar Pauls did her homework, before becoming a franchisee.

With 20 years of retail and management experience, she was eager to launch her own business.

Pauls researched franchises - “Too many!” - and was attracted to the Great Canadian Dollar Stores. Founded in Canada, in British Columbia, Great Canadian Dollar Stores now has 111 stores across the country, offering an established brand and a unique range of products, combining quality with a great price point.

In the course of her research, she says, “I visited all their stores in British Columbia, just to have an idea.” She was impressed with the well-organized and clean retail spaces, the products and the support offered.

“I was so happy to engage with this franchise company. They're really like family.”

With a partner, she opened her first Great Canadian Dollar Store, at 15620 Bayview Ave. in Aurora.

It's more of a “Junior Department Store” than a typical dollar store. Shelves are filled with housewares, home décor items, electronics and hardware. There is a stationery section, an area offering curtains and sheets, candles, frames, toys, baskets, seasonal items including Halloween and Christmas decorations.

“Our largest section is the crafts, home décor and the party items,” Pauls says, which includes helium-filled balloons. “It's one-stop shopping for family needs. Our goal is to give every customer the best experience, good products and good prices.”

And now she's bringing the Great Canadian Dollar Store to Bradford.

Pauls and husband Sam Perko moved to Bradford 4 years ago, and she immediately began thinking about a second franchise, “to bring something new to the city. We need more stores!”

Choosing a location at 164 Holland St. West, near Shoppers Drug Mart, Pauls and her family undertook a major renovation, transforming the former Beer Store into an attractive and comfortable space, using the “Great Canadian” colors – red and white.

Now the store is ready to open. The Grand Opening will take place on Saturday, November 4 with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting with the Mayor at 10 a.m. Drop in to check out the new store; the first 30 people on Saturday and Sunday will receive a free gift.

Bradford's Great Canadian Dollar Store will be open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. “We try to bring the best products and the best selection to Bradford,” Pauls says.